Peggy's Cove, NS - Summer 2012
I stumbled across the #take12trips challenge on the Travel Hack and decided I would jump on board. I definitely already take 12 trips a year, but I want to be intentional about them. Even before coming across this challenge, I was already brainstorming ideas with my boyfriend about where we would like to go in 2015. I suggested aiming for at least one trip a month, thinking that 12 trips was a very attainable goal. Because we live in Saskatchewan, with extremely cold winters, we will naturally do a lot more traveling in the summer, so there might be a few winter months that don't actually have a trip scheduled, but multiple trips in other months will still make up for it.
With the weather Saskatchewan is currently experiencing, all I can think about is traveling somewhere warm, but I don't have any official plans for that yet. I already know I'll be traveling to Ontario twice this summer (once at the beginning of May and again in mid-August), so the rest of the places we added to the list are pretty close to home and will involve a road trip rather than a flight. The majority of our trips will be to visit family, because family is super important to us, and what better excuse for travel is there than to visit family?!
Sometimes it's all too easy to just sit back and let time waste away while only dreaming of traveling, rather than actually getting out there and going. Follow these tips (and the ones Monica listed in the original post that inspired me) to make sure you actually get to traveling in 2015.
1. Make travel a priority
If traveling is as important to you as you think it is, show that with your actions! Choose travel over some other luxuries in your life. For me, I really like to indulge in my Starbucks habit, but cut that down to once every couple of weeks and I save a bunch to put towards travel! Another way that you can make travel a priority in your life is by setting aside the time to do it. I'm all for the staycation, but sometimes you just need to schedule your time off from work when you don't have other commitments at home and actually go somewhere while you don't have to be working. Paid time off aside, weekends and long weekends are great times to travel. Block off a weekend every couple of months that is specifically for travel and don't schedule any other commitments. When you have the time available you're in a much better place to arrange travel than if you have to go about cancelling and rescheduling just to get started.
2. Have a list of places you can go on a moments' notice
Okay, maybe not a moments' notice (but then again, maybe you're able to do that too!), but compile a list of places that are nearby and don't require a whole lot of planning ahead to be able to visit. The possibilities are endless, but these tend to be places you can reach by car or public transport and that you already have accommodations available (or places that always have openings available for accommodations). My boyfriend and I compiled our wish list of places to go and a good majority of them could be places that we decide to visit on a Friday afternoon when we leave right after work. Planning ahead is good, but spur of the moment travel counts too!
For the plan ahead trips do exactly that: Plan Ahead. Book your accommodations (or call your Aunt), budget accordingly, get the car serviced, research activities and restaurants, plan for your time away. This will look different for every trip, but do it, it makes going that much easier.
As I said in number 3, you need to budget in order to properly prepare for traveling. If you're fortunate enough to have your accommodations covered and a large amount of your meals provided by friends and family, then that's a large amount of money that you don't have to have set aside. However, you'll still have to cover the cost of getting there and any extra activities that you wouldn't normally be taking part in at home. Figure out approximately how much your trip will cost you ahead of time and set it aside - don't rely on credit! BONUS: If you know you want to travel this year, you can start a "travel fund" even before you know exactly where you want to go, then you'll be one step ahead when it comes time to plan a budget!
What are some of your tips to make sure you travel as much as you wish to? Anyone else taking part in the #take12trips challenge? Where do you want to travel to in 2015?